We are looking at some 2022 point guards who should have huge jumps in production as juniors.
Caleb Burton (6-0 PG, O’Fallon)
Burton is a powerful 6-foot point guard who makes his mark attacking the rim. He is an explosive downhill driver, especially going to his right hand. Burton can finish with soft touch or through contact once he is in the paint. When defenders sag off, he has a promising mid-range pull-up and a three-point shot that looks decent off the catch. He is already attracting interest, with Southern Illinois, Tulsa, and Valparaiso reaching out.
Mike Clarke (6-0 SG, Cary-Grove)
Clarke is a combo guard that knows how to finish against size. He gets the ball up on the backboard quickly and has the creativity to convert in a variety of ways in the paint. As a shooter, Clarke has sound mechanics that should produce results at a higher volume. When he’s not looking for his shot, Clarke is an instinctual playmaker who passes with some style. Going into his junior year, Clarke is going to have a significant boost in touches.
Vaurice Patterson (5-11 PG, Schaumburg)
As a sophomore, Patterson was a pass-first floor general that used his speed and athleticism to affect the game with his defense and penetration. His vision is ideal for a point guard, seeing the whole floor and throwing pinpoint passes from a number of angles. Patterson is a capable shooter with the ability to pull-up behind screens when in rhythm. As he improves that aspect of his game, his playmaking out of the pick-and-roll will shine even more. Expect more scoring from Patterson as a junior.
Nelson Reynolds (6-1 SG, Peoria Notre Dame)
Playing in a complementary role, Reynolds gained valuable experience with significant playing time as a sophomore. He is a well-built guard with good touch from the outside. He is a tough driver when he puts his head down, with good balance and quickness around the rim. Look for Reynolds to continue to grow as he heads into his junior season. The opportunity will be there for Reynolds to cement himself as one of the top guards in the area.
Paxton Warden (6-2 SG, Glenbard West)
Part of a talented class at Glenbard West, Warden is a tough guard that can shoot and defend at a high level. He is a solid shooter off spot-ups but has the athleticism to finish straight-line drives. Whether guarding the ball or on the help side, Warden is an engaged defender that has good length at the guard spot. Warden does a little bit of everything, facilitating within the offense and fighting for rebounds as well. The scrappy two-guard should start attracting college interest as a junior.